Wednesday 16th September: Markets mixed as investors tread cautiously

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Global Markets:

  • Asian Stock Markets : Nikkei up 0.09%, Shanghai Composite down 0.36%, Hang Seng down 0.18%, ASX up 1.04%
  • Commodities : Gold at $1973.40 (+0.37%), Silver at $27.55 (+0.32%), Brent Oil at $41.34 (+2.00%), WTI Oil at $39.16 (+2.30%)
  • Rates : US 10-year yield at 0.674, UK 10-year yield at 0.202, Germany 10-year yield at -0.490

News & Data:

  • (GBP) CPI y/y 0.20% vs 0.10% expected
  • (GBP) Claimant Count Change 73.7K vs 99.5K expected
  • Japan’s Lower House Elects Yoshihide Suga As New Prime Minister
  • Fed nominee Shelton doesn’t yet have Senate support, Thune says

Markets Update:

Asian stock markets are mixed on Wednesday with modest gains following the positive cues overnight from Wall Street and as investors turned cautious ahead of the U.S. Federal Reserve’s monetary policy decision due later in the day.

While the Fed is widely expected to leave interest rates unchanged, investors are likely to pay close attention to any tweaks to the accompanying statement. The central bank’s latest economic projections may also attract attention.

Mainland Chinese stocks saw losses by the afternoon. The Shanghai composite declined 0.4% while the Shenzhen component shed 1%. Over in Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 advanced 1%. In Japan, the Nikkei 225 closed fractionally higher at 0.1% positive while the Topix index advanced 0.2%. Hang Seng was down by 0.2%.

The yield on benchmark 10-year Treasury notes was at 0.674%, from Tuesday’s close of 0.679%. In the currency market, the yen touched a two-week high of 105.23 per dollar as traders bet on a more accommodative Fed, and was last at 105.31.

Ahead of the Fed announcement, the U.S. dollar index — which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers — was at 93.046 after an earlier high of 93.185. In contrast to the muted activity elsewhere, oil prices jumped as a hurricane disrupted U.S. offshore oil and gas production and as U.S. stockpiles fell.

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